Gay marriages in California for Christmas?

California courts withhold gay marriages

For same-sex California couples planning to wed there will be a delay until at least December. This is a result of a decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On August 17 2010 a three-judge panel extended a stay on District Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling. The ruling is that marriage is a protected right for same-sex couples.

The panel said the court would hear the Proposition 8 challenge on an expedited basis and hold arguments the week of December 6 2010. Then a panel of three judges is expected to rule on the appeal.

Judge Walker's decision that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution prompted him to order county clerks offices to begin granting same-sex marriage licenses at 5 p.m. August 18 2010 unless a higher court intervened. The Ninth Circuit panel gave no explanation for why it stayed Walker's order.

When the situation is looked at in purely legal terms the delay will likely prove beneficial to gay marriage advocates. Though it has disappointed many couples ready to tie the legal spousal knot the long term is that the issue will have a lot of time to be considered.

The Ninth Circuit will have an opportunity to review the case and if necessary it will move to the U.S. Supreme Court. There will be different judges reviewing the evidence and a determination will be made as to whether or not there is harm resulting from same-sex marriages.

The oral arguments will start in December.

Insurance companies have come to recognize that a spouse or partner has the same rights under a policy whether same sex or traditional male and female. We will have to see how California rules in December.